Mudiaga Affe, Calabar
THE Cross River State Police Command has paraded two suspected thieves, who allegedly stole a 500KVA generator and a Yamaha keyboard from one of the Pentecostal churches in Calabar.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Hafiz Inuwa, said the suspects, identified as Francis Boniface and Godwin Effiong, also stole other valuables worth thousands of naira from the church.
He said the duo broke into the church located at 165, Parliamentary Road in Calabar to steal the items.
Inuwa told Southern City News on Tuesday that the incident was reported at the State Housing Police Station, which prompted operatives to swing into action.
He said, “Most of the stolen items, including a Yamaha keyboard, generator, from the church have been recovered and investigation is ongoing. The suspects will be charged to court with their accomplices.
“I want to commend members of the public for volunteering to give genuine and prompt information to the police. It was the timely report of a member from the church that made it possible for us to apprehend the suspects.”
A police source, who craved anonymity, said Boniface and Effiong had been terrorising churches and residents of the area in recent times before their arrest.
He said the two-man gang had stolen several generators, musical and sound equipment from churches in Calabar.
“They invade churches in the wee hours. They know when services will not hold and cart away items such as amplifiers, mixers, speakers, projectors, keyboards and generators. They have a syndicate that helps them to dispose of such items in neighbouring states.
“We know that there will be more leads in this matter and we intend to smash the syndicate. The church remains a sacred place of worship and should be accorded that respect because their act is highly sacrilegious. They go as far as Gboko and Vandikiya, all in Benue State,” he said.
When interviewed, one of the suspects, Effiong, claimed that he bought the generator from the other.
“I am not the one that stole it directly from the church; Francis Boniface did. I only bought it from him at the cost of N70, 000. I also did not know that the generator was stolen. He even went ahead to issue a receipt to me,” he claimed.
On the other hand, Boniface too claimed he bought the generator at N90, 000 and sold it for N70, 000.
“I did not steal the generator and keyboard. Someone brought the items to me. I even bought the generator for N90, 000. I tried to trace the guy that brought it to me, but we could not,” he said.
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